Double curtain rods give you versatility and style in one single package. They allow for a combination of curtains to be used to decorate a single window and can come in many stylish shapes and sizes. While it’s easy enough to buy double curtain rods in retail stores, we understand that you may want to convert your single rods into double curtain rods. The simplest way to do this is to use a double curtain bracket, which will allow you to mount two curtain rods into a single bracket.
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This video by Decorator’s Market shows the essential principles you need to keep in mind when installing curtain rods. While the video shows a single rod installation, the method and principles will be precisely the same for double rods.
What You Need
A rod conversion kit containing:
- Bracket mounting hardware, such as screws
- Collars and lock collars
- Cap finials
- Wall patching compound and paint (maybe)
- Existing or new rods
- Electric drill
- Protective equipment
1. Remove existing brackets
This is an optional step and will depend on whether you have any existing brackets and rods in the window. If you do, start by removing the rod from the bracket and then remove the bracket itself. If you find that the wall is damaged during this process, first repair the wall with the wall patching compound. Then sand it down and paint over the wall.
If the area is severely damaged, chances are it’s not going to hold the new double curtain rod very well. In that case, after repairing the wall, install the new brackets in a slightly different location. Aim to be at least two inches away from the damaged wall location. If possible, get a somewhat larger curtain kit so that you can still get an even installation that doesn’t look awkward.
2. Work Out Your Bracket Spacing
As with so many DIY projects, the planning step is essential to the ultimate success of your project. By planning out your bracket spacing, you ensure that your result is aesthetically pleasing. There’s nothing worse than having slightly off-parallel curtains. This effect is even worse when dealing with two curtains.
Ideally, your curtain rods should be longer than the window. An overhang allows you to withdraw your curtains without impeding the view from the window. Aim for at least 30cm (12″) on each side for the overhang.
Once you know how long the rods are going to be, you can work out where to space your brackets. As a rule of thumb, the outside bracket should be approximately 15cm (6″) away from where the rod ends. This allows room for any decorative caps that you may have for the rods.
The rest of the brackets included with the double-rod conversion kit should then be spaced out evenly along the rest of the length of the rods. You can use the following formula to help work out your spacing:
This bracket spacing isn’t locked in stone, and you do have some wiggle room if you need to accommodate wall studs or any other factors. Just make sure that your brackets are spaced evenly apart so that no one bracket has to take more weight than the others.
3. Mark the location of the brackets
Your first step is to find and mark the center point of the installation. If you have an odd number of brackets, you’ll be installing a bracket at the center point. If you have an even number of brackets, you’ll space them an equal distance from the center.
Once you’ve determined your center point, you can start working outwards and marking off the various bracket locations. Don’t worry about vertical spacing right now; concentrate on making sure that your horizontal spacing is even.
After you’ve determined the horizontal position of the brackets, you still need to decide how high vertically the curtain rail will be. Since some houses have floors, windows, and ceilings that aren’t parallel to each other, aim to use the ceiling as your baseline for the installation. It may mean that your curtain may be a bit uneven at the bottom, but it’s less jarring than having a curtain rail that’s not parallel to the ceiling.
The vertical height will be determined in large part on how far your curtains drop. Allow for an extra 1.5″ for the curtain rod and the brackets. Mark this as the top of your bracket.
Measure down from the cornice to mark your vertical bracket spacing, in line with your previous horizontal spacing marks. Make sure to use a spirit level to ensure that all the marks are in-line with each other.
4. Install the Brackets
Use either a screwdriver or drill to drill the holes into the locations you’ve marked out. After you’ve drilled the holes, insert the wall plugs to ensure a stable base for the bracket screws.
Start with the center bracket and screw each bracket into the wall.
Make sure as you go along to keep checking your work by using a spirit level to ensure that all the brackets are in line with each other. Many brackets will have a bit of leeway so that you can adjust their height once they’ve been installed.
5. Add the Rods
How you install your rods will depend on the brackets you’ve installed. But the general principle remains the same for both single and double curtain rods. Always start in the middle and work your way out when connecting the rod. Also, keep checking the level of the curtain track with your spirit level as well as visually confirming that the placement is even and parallel to the ceiling.
When working with a double curtain rod, make sure to insert the inner rod (the one that holds the sheer curtains) first. This will make installation of the second set of rods easier.
All that’s left after this step is to hang up your stunning new curtains and enjoy the added variety of styles you can use.
Installing a double curtain rod is very much the same as installing a single curtain rod, and many of the principles apply. The most crucial part of connecting a curtain rod is ensuring that the brackets are correctly located and mounted.
By improperly placing your brackets, not only do you run the risk of having a distractingly ugly curtain rod, but you also put a lot more stress on specific brackets since they have to handle more weight. This stress also affects the wall and can end up damaging the wall in the long run.
So, take your time during the planning step, as it will make both the execution and the result in much more pleasant. And once you’re done, you can enjoy having the privacy and light afforded by a sheer curtain as well as the style of an outer, opaque curtain.
While there are many different kits available out there to convert single rods into double rods, there are also projects that you could attempt to make a continuous double rod that has more of a visual impact. This does, however, require a bit more technical know-how and expertise. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous and prefer the look of galvanized curtain rods, why not give it a try?